December 29, 2012

A map depicting each country in the world with the single word that appears most often...

... on that country's "History of..." page in Wikipedia (excluding the country's own name along with some list of common words like "the" and "was"). The project seems designed to throw "war" in our faces, so what I found interesting was looking for whatever isn't war. For example, Australia gets "new." Here's the big image of the map for your inspection.

Only one has 2 have the name of an individual human being. Not North Korea, because "Kim" isn't just one person. And, no, kids, Monte Video is not a guy, though he sounds like an amusing guy. That's Montevideo, broken into 2 lines. You knew that, but don't be so pleased with yourself, because, chances are you don't know one thing about the history of... Do you even know where Montevideo is?

Maybe a good project would be those "History of..." pages, not just for their most common words — WAR! — but to have had it run through your head, at least once, what happened in all of those places. Do you know how many pages we are talking about? The number of members in the United Nations is not the right answer, but do you know that number? It's 193. Wikipedia lists 206 sovereign states (including those with disputed sovereignty).

Let's make a New Year's resolution: Each day, read one Wikipedia "History of..." page. Will you join me? We'll go in alphabetical order, and I'll prompt you with blog posts.

Will you join me?
  
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24 comments:

edutcher said...

Monte Video?

Well, it's a good project for the first half of the year.

Quaestor said...

I suppose that Australia's NEW comes from New South Wales. For a long time Australia's other states were so sparsely populated that nearly everything historical that happened on that continent happened in NSW.

Poor Uruguay, that last interesting thing that happened there was the destruction of the German cruiser Admiral Graf Spee in 1939 -- which sank within sight of spectators on Montevideo. Maybe they should have changed the city's name to Batallavideo.

What's really odd is Algeria's shape composed of Free.

Quaestor said...

Oops. I meant to type spectators in Montevideo.

virgil xenophon said...

Reminds me of what I used to do with my World Book Encyclopedias that I got as a child. I'd pick one letter/volume at random and start reading. I picked up LOTS of esoteric BS that way...made me sound almost intelligent..

virgil xenophon said...

@Quaestor/

Technically, (and practically, in terms of armament) the Graf Spee wasn't a cruiser but what was then called a pocket-battleship, i.e., a heavy cruiser on steroids..

Ignorance is Bliss said...

I love that Romania's word is Transylvania.

ricpic said...

It's Wikipedia. How could the one word associated with the United States NOT be hostile? Tiresomely predictable, our best and brightest.

Quaestor said...

@ virgil xenophone

To be correctly technical KMS Admiral Graf Spee was a panzerschiff, not a "pocket battleship".

virgil xenophon said...

Ignorance is Bliss/FYI

Do you know that there is a Transylvania Univ located in Lexington, Ky? (Unfortunately their sports teams nicknames are not the "Bats" alas, but the more pedestrian "Pioneers."--they missed a helluva an opportunity there..)

virgil xenophon said...

@Quaestor. Yes, correct, but you quibble: "pocket-battleship" was the descriptive term used in the public media outside Germany. Point being, in terms of armament it was something FAR more than your standard cruiser--which is why it was so feared..

Quaestor said...

The panzerschiff was a class of warship invented by the German navy between the world wars as a solution to the limitations imposed on Germany by the Versailles treaty, which restricted Germany warships to a displacement not exceeding 10,000 tons.

The class, composed of three ships -- Deutschland (renamed L├╝tzow), Admiral Graf Spee, and Admiral Scheer -- was intended for long range cruising against enemy commerce, and was in no way suitable for a role in a battle line. The term "pocket battleship" was a early example of press heavy breathing.

C R Krieger said...

It is a resolution and not a commitment, but the Blog Mistress will make it a commitment, as long as she doesn't falter.

And "Pocket Battleship" is good enough.  I think the Royal Navy cruiser crews would have agreed.

And an early Happy New Year to all.

Regards  —  Cliff

Tyrone Slothrop said...

This Monty Video is on YouTube.

McTriumph said...

History is old like the Constitution and old things are irrelevant, just ask Ezra Klein.

Chip Ahoy said...

It's Wikipedia. How could the one word associated with the United States NOT be hostile?

Everything is expressed in martial terms. War on poverty, war on hunger, war on illiteracy, I made that one up but so does every one else, war on Christmas, rhetorical Republican's war against women, everything is spoken in terms of war, not just actual wars, like Wikipedia's war editing wars, and liberal war on English language, and especially political entities hyperbolizing with war on the environment, race wars, war between generations, war of sexes, war between the haves and have nots, between the Z's and the Nazis and so forth, or maybe not that last one but there's the idea.

Phil 3:14 said...

I want pictures of the crazy outfits worn in the Olympic opening ceremony Parade of Nations.

Would I find that at the Sartorialist?

Erika said...

Totally in. I read a couple Wiki history of.... articles a week anyway.

Mitch H. said...

Do you know that there is a Transylvania Univ located in Lexington, Ky?

Yeah, it dates back to the brief existence of the aspirational colony/state of Transylvania in what's now eastern Kentucky.

Most of the countries' labels represent their foremost headaches - so Romania gets "Transylvania", Moravia "Bessarabia", a lot of failed-state Africa gets "Government", Europe, "War", and Burma gets "Aung" of all damned things. Uruguay is so sleepy and un-notable that its word is its own capital. Wonder why more of these countries didn't get the same thing? Maybe there's a filter that broke down in Uruguay's case?

fivewheels said...

Could be interesting. Of the 200-some nations, I figure I will already be fairly well-versed in only four: The United States, Great Britain, Russia and probably Israel (because most of its existence is within my memory). Depending on how in-depth these things go, I could do OK on France, Austria, Greece and maybe Taiwan. The rest will mostly be large gaps.

Could also be boring, though, so I'm not going to commit.

fivewheels said...

Eh, it occurred to me that the Israel entry might not start in 1948, and it doesn't. I certainly don't know a lot of the earlier stuff.

Ann Althouse said...

Oh, I didn't see "Aung." Then there are 2 that have an individual human being.

wyo sis said...

virgil xenophon said...
"Reminds me of what I used to do with my World Book Encyclopedias that I got as a child. I'd pick one letter/volume at random and start reading. I picked up LOTS of esoteric BS that way...made me sound almost intelligent..""

I did that too. I thought I was the only one!

Kate J said...

You are closer to Montevideo than you think! 2 1/2 hrs
west of Mpls/St. Paul. Another favorite town name is Mahtomedi (mah-ta-MEE-dye), on the eastern shores of White Bear Lake, MN. It is fun to hear itinerant weathermen and politicians try to pronounce these.

Truckee Man said...

Says much more about Wiki and its writers than countries or histories. Wiki has steadily deteriorated into PC tripe and a marketing tool.